Government has announced that the 90-day Threatened State of Emergency declared by President Edgar Lungu following a series of suspected acts of sabotage will expire at midnight today.
On July 11, Parliament unanimously approved President Lungu’s invocation of Article 31 of the Republican Constitution.
Announcing the development in Parliament this afternoon, Justice Minister Lubinda explained that the expiration of the Threatened State of Emergency does not mean citizens are now free to engage in acts of lawlessness as other laws still remain in force.
“On 5th July, 2017, His Excellency the president, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu invoked the provisions of Article 31 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia thereby declaring a Threatened State of Public Emergency. The events which the to this declaration were outlined by His Excellency the President when he stated that the country had experienced unexplained fire outbreaks and vandalism of strategic installations bordering on economic sabotage,” Lubinda said in a ministerial statement.
“Madam Speaker, in line with the requirements of the Constitution, the proclamation relating to Threatened State of Public Emergency which was signed by the President on 5th July, 2017 and has been in force for a period of 90 days from 11th July, 2017, the date of its approval by this House the last of which expires at midnight tonight. The preservation of Public Emergency Statutory Instrument number 55 of 2017 shall be suspended. Madam Speaker, the declaration of this public emergency will dully expire tonight.”
“I wish to state however that the expiration of the Threatened State of Emergency is not and should not be misconstrued as an invitation for any person to break the law as other laws still remain in force. Madam Speaker, allow me to enjoin all of us to continue to be patriotic, diligent, to be observant and to continue to be law abiding citizens of this country as we go about our daily lives.”
And Lubinda says despite the expiration of the Threatened State of Emergency, police will continue investigating the fires that rocked the country in the past few months.
“And furthermore, the expiration of the Threatened State of Emergency does not mean that the police have stopped following up on these incidences, there are suspects who are still being followed up and those who shall be found wanting shall be brought to book.”